Ten men – including a few famous famous – were chosen to carry boxing great Muhammad Ali’s casket during his funeral on Friday.
Among the pallbearers is Will Smith, the actor who portrayed ‘the greatest ever’ in the 2001 film Ali and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who was a last minute addition.
Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell says Tyson caught a late flight to be part of the ceremonies honoring Ali in Louisville, Kentucky. Gunnell says Tyson wasn’t sure if he would attend the service because of a prior commitment. He also said Tyson was initially hesitant to take part in the ceremonies because he was highly emotional when he learned of Ali’s death.
Tyson isn’t the only boxing legend escorting Ali to his final resting place. Lennox Lewis, another former heavyweight champion, is also among the pallbearers.
In an interview with the Press Association, Lennox said it was an ‘honor’ to be asked to be a pallbearer at his hero’s funeral.
‘I am humbled, and honoured, beyond words to help see my hero, Muhammad Ali, off to his final resting place.
‘Ali has always been an enormous inspiration to me, not only in my boxing career, but also in life. His journey began 74 years ago, and in that time, he not only transformed the world of sport, he used sport to transform the world.
‘It’s my extreme pleasure, and complete honour, to be asked to help him complete the final steps of his life journey,’ he said.
The other pallbearers are made up of close family and friends including John Grady, Ali’s cousin; Ibn Ali, Ali’s nephew; Komawi Ali, his former brother-in-law; Jerry Ellis, the brother of Ali’s former sparring partner Jimmy Ellis; Jan Wandell, Ali’s first cousin; Gene Dibble, Jr., son of Ali’s former business agent and John Ramsey, a family friend